Paul Thompson: Capitalism, Contradictions and Conflict



Paul Thompson (University of Stirling, United Kingdom) held this talk at the symposium "Workers of the World - Exploring global perspectives on labour from the 1950s to the present" as the keynote speaker of session 2, "Labour at the Site of Production: Labour Process, Control, Quality of Work", chaired by Martin Krzywdzinski (Berlin Social Science Centre, Germany). New empirical approaches of labour studies in different world regions were the center of this symposium in Hanover in June 2017. How can we arrive at global perspectives on labour, which reach beyond teleologies of a all-encompassing "race to the top" (or "to the bottom"), but also beyond the notion of everincreasing differentiation? This symposium explored overarching trends in the political as well as corporate regulation and in the forms of collective organisation of labour. Such an exploration is understood as a precondition for an adequate analysis of the dynamics of current capitalism. It needs to be based on an examination of linkages and s